Wednesday, 19 January 2011

SAN/iQ 9.0 How to Disable (Circumvent) Automatic Upgrade Path

CAUTION - this is not a recommended path as the SAN/iQ 9.0 software is designed with the intelligence to painlessly automatically upgrade an entire SAN/iQ 9.0 SAN Management Group. If you use this to upgrade your NSMs one at a time, remember the order of FOM (Fail Over Manager), non-manager, manager not holding the VIP (Virtual IP,) and finally VIP holder, also remote management group first, and be sure to check the official HP documentation.


1: On the workstation/server where the HP P4000 Centralized Management Console (CMC) is installed, make sure the CMC is closed and open up the CMC's preferences.txt file

On pre Windows Vista/Server 2008 Systems, the location is something like:

C:\Documents and Settings\{username}\.storage_system

On Windows Vista/Server 2008 and above, it is:


2: Edit the preferences.txt file with this line at the bottom


and save the file but do not close it

3: Open up the CMC and log in, and under the configuration summary there will be a tab called “Support Upgrades”, from here the NSMs can be patched one at a time!

Default location of upgrade files downloaded via the upgrade tab is:

C:\Program Files (x86)\HP\P4000\UI\downloads

- or (32-bit Windows systems) -

C:\Program Files\HP\P4000\UI\downloads

Scenarios as to why this might be used

1: Personal preference (not really a good reason since the software has been designed by clever people and in them one must trust)

2: A Management Group has two or more clusters in, and control is required over which cluster is done first

3: There is no hot replica (DR) site or off SAN disk based backups, so in the event of having to undergo a thorough change request procedure which demands a minimal downtime in the extremely unlikely event of SAN failure, it is desired to do the upgrade one node at a time (since a SAN/iQ cluster can happily survive without a whole NSM until it is recovered for network RAID resilient volumes)

A recommendation before doing the upgrade

Keep a note of all Feature Keys and License Keys before the upgrade process, in the event they are required to rebuild an NSM.

Credits: The procedure was provided by an HP Storage guru based in North America (not sure I am at liberty to provide names here :-) )

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Exchange 2007/2010 Get Out Of Jail Quick Card - No Disk Space


Your Exchange 2007/2010 has run out of disk space on the partition holding the mailbox database and the database has dismounted, there is no quick way to increase the size of the partition, and it looks like the only solution is to move the database to another drive, which will mean downtime whilst the database is dismounted during the move.


(A temporary fix to get the database up and running.)

In the folder where the EDB file for the affected Mailbox Database resides, there is a folder with name beginning catalogdata which can be quite large (for example - 15GB for a 250GB database):

If the Microsft Exchange Search Service is stopped by running the command

net stop MsExchangeSearch

or stopping the Microsoft Exchange Search Indexer from services.msc

then the entire catalogdata folder can be shift deleted

After this is done, DO NOT restart the Microsoft Exchange Search Service for two reasons:

1: Restarting MsExchangeSearch will cause the Full-Text Index Catalog to get rebuilt which may fill to the same size as before
2: Rebuilding the Full-Text Index Catalog can cause high CPU utilization, and is best rebuilt out of business hours

Remember this is only a temporary fix to give some breathing space whilst downtime for the mailbox database to be moved to a larger drive - or whatever - can be arranged. Free space on server disk partitions should always be monitored.


Further reading - How to Rebuild the Full-Text Index Catalog

Tag for Google - Q: Can I delete catalogdata Exchange 2007 / 2010 ? A: Yes you can ! 

Upgrading Basic 2 Node SAN/iQ 8.5 SAN to SAN/iQ 9.0

Scenario: Basic 2 Node SAN/iQ 8.5 SAN with Failover Manager, upgrade to SAN/iQ 9.0

1: Download the CMC 9.0 Installer from and install.

This is a straightforward Next > Next > Next type install, and will uninstall any previous versions of the CMC.

2: a: Open the HP P4000 CMC and login to the management group.
2: b: Select 'Configuration Summary' in the Navigation pane of the CMC, and the Upgrades tab
2: c: Click 'Start Download' to begin the upgrade process

- and then it will go away and download its upgrades (note the size in the image below > 4GB!)

The default download location is “C:\Program Files (x86)\HP\P4000\UI\downloads”

3: When all files have been successfully downloaded, click the 'Continue...' button next to the management group

4: The downloaded software is verified, and the 'Install Action Required' Windows opens up

If using any of the software under 'Upgrade this Software First,' upgrade these first (DSM/ CLI/ MIBs,) then tick the check box, and click the Install button.

The 'Upgrade Process' Window opens up, software will be copied to the systems, and the install will run.

The software automatically installs in the correct order of Failover Manager first, then non-VIP (Virtual IP holder) node, and finally the node holding the VIP.

Note: The CMC will be unavailable until the installation complete

5: Once complete, the 'Upgrade Summary' box will appear

If using any of the software under 'Remaining Software to Upgrade,' upgrade this first (VSS Provider,) then tick the check box, and click the Finish button.

6: Select 'Configuration Summary' in the Navigation pane of the CMC, and the Upgrades tab to verify that software is up to date for the management group.


Note I: Recommend keeping a constant ping to the nodes to see when they reboot.
Note II: Ping to the VIP recorded 0 packet loss and the TEST Network RAID-10 volume had 100% availability during the upgrade
Note III: This demo was done in a lab environment using the 8.5 Laptop Demo (384MB guest memory) and 8.5 ESX Failover Manager (384MB guest memory,) within VMware Workstation 7, on a 64-bit VT-enabled workstation. The only error that appeared was from VMware Workstation - 'You are running a 64-bit guest operating system, but the virtual machine is configured to run a 32-bit operating system' – and clicking OK to this both times enabled VSA02 and VSA01 to resume their boot process, no further interaction was required.

Note IV: Using Advanced upgrades
1: Within the 9.0 CMC click Help > Preferences
2: On the Preferences windows, select Upgrades
3: On the pane, select Advanced for the Upgrade Selection Mode
4: Click OK
This allows either patching of the current version, or upgrading to a version other than the latest (it does not give the option to install the software on one node at a time, and will automatically patch/upgrade all nodes in the management group)

SAN/iQ 9.0

*See update for SAN/iQ 9.5 at

1: Why upgrade to SAN/iQ 9.0?
2: How to upgrade?

1: Why upgrade to SAN/iQ 9.0?

SAN/iQ 9.0 - out since November 2010 - offers many enhancements over 8.5 (see page 4 of the 'SAN/iQ 9.0 release notes' / 'P4000 SAN Solution software release notes' from or - for convenience - these have been copied to Appendix B below,) of particular note:

i: Network RAID 5 on 3 nodes (previously required 4 nodes)
ii: iSCSI session auto rebalancing
iii: Automatic online upgrades

HP recommends all customers running 8.x and earlier versions upgrade to 9.0.

2: How to upgrade?

All the information is available in the 'SAN/iQ 9.0 release notes' / 'P4000 SAN Solution software release notes' from and highly recommend reading this

Quick notes (taken from the SAN/iQ 9.0 release notes):

1: The upgrade to release 9.0 is available for the platforms listed in Appendix C

2: Two methods of upgrading -
i: Using automated online upgrades
ii: Upgrading the software in an offline environment

3: Using automated online upgrades -
i: Select Configuration Summary in the Navigation pane of the CMC
ii: Select the Upgrades tab
iii: Click Start Download to begin the upgrade process

4: CAUTION - VSA upgrades - ensure your processor architecture is 64-bit capable with the VT processor extensions enabled in the BIOS, if your environment is not 64-bit capable do not upgrade to SAN/iQ 9.0 VSA or FOM

5: Can upgrade from version 7.0 SP1 or later to 9.0 (direct upgrades from 8.X; upgrading from 7.0 SP1 must first upgrade to 8.5 and this can be done automatically by the automatic upgrades feature)

6: STEP 1 – install the release 9.0 CMC

7: Pre-upgrade tasks:
i: Verify each cluster has a VIP configured
ii: Plan for downtime of Network RAID-0 volumes which will go offline whilst the upgrade is in process

8: Upgrade the following components in this order:
i: The CMC, including CLI, MIBs and FOM.
ii: Any patches or other components as indicated during the Upgrade process, in the Install Action Required window.
iii: The DSM for MPIO (If you are running 7.x version of the HP StorageWorks P4000 DSM for MPIO , the installer prompts you to first uninstall that version before installing the current version.)
iv: The SAN/iQ software.
v: The remaining Solution Pack components, the VSS Provider and the Authentication Console as required.

9: Upgrading the software in an offline environment
Downloading files
i: Install the 9.0 CMC on a computer that can connect to the Internet outside of a firewall.
ii: Start the CMC.
iii: Select Configuration Summary and click the Upgrades tab. Click Start Download to download
all the upgrade and patch files to the computer where the CMC is installed.
iv: Click Help > Preferences > Upgrades.
v: Note the download directory. This is where all the upgrade files were downloaded. The default
location in Microsoft Windows is Program Files > HP > P4000 > UI > downloads.
vi: Close the CMC.
vii: Return the computer to your own network.
viii: Copy the downloaded files to a network share location or portable media, or use the CMC on
that computer to upgrade your storage systems. If you do copy the files to a network location,
any CMC you use to do upgrades must point to that network location to see the files.
a. Click Help > Preferences > Upgrades.
b. Browse to the network location where you copied the files.
c. Click OK to close the Preferences window and continue with the upgrade.

10: If upgrading management groups with Remote Copy associations you should upgrade the remote management groups first.

PS I always try to avoid using the word I and putting personal comments into my posts, today I will make an exception to this and say that I absolutely love SAN/iQ, with its ease of use and powerful features, it is an absolute SAN administrators dream come true (lives up to the wisdom of Albert Einstein's “everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” ) To the team that make it – hats off to you!

Appendix A – Useful links

In the Storage section, navigate to the following locations
Disk Storage Systems >

In the Storage section, navigate to the following locations
Disk Storage Systems
Storage Software > Storage Virtualization Software

Appendix B – SAN/iQ 9.0 Enhancements (from SAN/iQ 9.0 release notes)

The 9.0 release is a comprehensive release that includes enhancements in the following areas:
New global configurations — Email, SNMP, DNS, remote syslog, and upgrades are done at the
management group
Automated online upgrade management — Identifies, downloads, and applies updates more
Alarms and Events enhancements — Reduced quantity, configured globally, new severity levels
Storage system alarms
Network RAID 5 and 6 enhancements — No longer require snapshots, Network RAID 5 on clusters
of three or more, Network RAID 6 on clusters of five or more
VMware VAAI vStorage offloads — Full copy, Block Zeroing, and Hardware Assisted Locking for
faster VM deployment and less load on ESX servers
New Best Practice Analyzer rules — Checks for consistent RAID and network settings
P4000 Centralized Management Console enhancements — More map views, new volume icons
that represent status and RAID, reduced numbers of pop ups, user ability to change CMC font
sizes and default names
Host server cluster management — Automated assignment of volumes to many servers that make
up an application cluster
Server aware sites — Servers and server clusters can be assigned to sites to improve load balancing
HP Insight Remote Support replaces LeftHand Service Console
HP SIM monitoring support (6.2)
Localization for Japan, China, and Korea
MPIO improvements — Host network load balancing in DSM for MPIO and native windows MPIO
iSCSI session management improvements — Sessions are automatically rebalanced after systems
come back online and when systems are added. Sessions are automatically disconnected when
volumes are unassigned from servers
Improved PGR / Microsoft Failover Cluster scalability — Up to 256 iSCSI sessions per volume
with Microsoft Failover Clusters utilizing PGR
Cross-Version Remote Copy — Release 9.0 SAN/iQ software can remote copy to and from version
8.5, 8.1, and 8.0 management groups
Remote Copy bandwidth — Now managed independently of management group bandwidth
CLI improvements — New commands to manage schedules, SNMP, and servers
Application-Managed Snapshots support Microsoft Windows CSV

Appendix C – Platforms supported for release 9.0 (from SAN/iQ 9.0 release notes)

Upgrades to release 9.0 software are available for the following platforms
HP StorageWorks P4300 G2
HP StorageWorks P4500 G2
HP StorageWorks P4800 G2
HP LeftHand P4300
HP LeftHand P4500
VSA for ESX and for Hyper-V
Failover Manager for ESX and for Hyper-V
NSM 2120 G2
NSM 2060 G2
NSM 2120
DL 320s
IBM x3650
Dell 2950
NSM 4150
NSM 2060